madly in love with Iraq



I was sitting among a group of Arab women the other day; the topic was about the most famous traditional dishes.
While each of them was proudly describing her country’s speciality, I and my other Iraqi friend made eye contact, as we both recalled an earlier discussion between the two of us. She insisted then that we do not have any pure Iraqi dish apart from big chunks of meat with bread; every other dish we cook is originally Iranian, Turkish or Mediterranean. I was on the defensive, “What about okras stew? Or our tasty aubergine dish?”. We argued for a while and then skipped the subject. I was worried she would say something similar in front of these women and belittle our cuisine.

When our turn came and all eyes and ears were focused on us; I was about to open my mouth, when she interrupted me and replied “Our traditional dish tastes like Iraq; a mixture of all races and religions. You have to manually mix inconsistent ingredients for thousands of years, and every now and then you would be forced to add some exotic elements, which might not blend easily, but with a bit of patience and a lot of love; the outcome will become homogeneous. You might not agree to the flavour but that is the only recipe we have!”

My friend who is originally from Hilla; a city south of Baghdad spoke about how when she was a child, her best outing was going with her siblings to play near the ruins of Babylon while listening to stories about how 6000 years ago there were children her age in this exact place and probably playing the same games!

My friends’ words reminded me of how uneasy and apprehensive I feel when I visit new and modern cities. I cannot even identify myself with the people who live in there.

As much as I am proud of being from a country so old and so diverse, it makes me wonder sometimes whether this was a blessing or a burden.

We Iraqis cannot deny that we are part of the Arab world, I myself am definitely an Arab, somewhere we have a tree…and it goes back to nearly 1000 years.

Islam unites its followers in faith and considers it beyond race and beyond borders. In practice this doesn’t work.

I feel for Lebanese Christians much more than I do for Indian Muslims, and my heart goes for an Iraqi Christian much more than for a Lebanese Muslim! Don’t we all?

Those fundamentalists groups are trying to wipe off the history of Iraq and the whole area and minimize all achievements outside the circle of Islam. They are overlooking the Arab scientist, poets and musicians and accuse them of being a bunch of heretics.

The whole Middle East has been governed by repressive and corrupt governments for so long, and for them to secure their chairs, those rulers fought against any change and did not allow educated people to have a role and a say in any aspect of life. It was always the wrong person in the wrong place.
As a consequence people followed the unknown and they found it to be the only light in the end of the tunnel.

Arabs who hail Al Zarqawi don’t hate Iraqis, they hate their own failures and they are expressing their own frustrations. They are trying to give excuses to themselves; sometimes they are fighting the super power and sometimes by fighting the Shia Muslims (I bet they don’t know anything about them) and so on.

When I am angry I loathe the Arab countries for their weakness and stupidity and cruelty; Where are they from our pain, Why don’t they recognise our daily tragedies.
But when I am calm, I try to forgive and understand and meanwhile I dream on.

Tonight I am imagining with John Lennon so imagine



  • Keep in mind that neighboring regimes aren't free. The people aren't free to really state their ideas and feelings about Iraq,democracy,or their own dictatorships. The only opinions you'll hear through Arab media are those approved by the fascists in charge. Down with America,it's all the jews fault,etc. etc.
    Iraq will be the envy of the middle east. With freedom and unfettered capitalism....not to mention huge reserves of oil,Iraq could be a shining example for all Arab countries to follow. That's why terrorists,backed by neighboring regimes,are doing their best to bring Iraq down. A successful Iraq means the eventual end of the area's despots. Hang in there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:15 am  

  • Hala,
    First let me say your piece was beautiful in every sense of the word! I could only say 'Amen'!
    As for 'Mr. Anonymous', I want to say that "freedom" isn't imported either. It's 'homegrown'. A 'successful Iraq' means the end of occupation and ALL foreign intervention -not just from the neighbors! God knows...we may one day have our own 'Iraqi Civil Liberties Union' (like the American Civil Liberties Union) fighting the sames breaches of freedom that US citizens still suffer from today!
    P.S. I'm a "card-carrying member" of the ACLU. As a Muslim living in America today, I have to be. I don't know when I can be the 'next target' and for no particular reason...So much for 'freedom' in America...

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 2:45 pm  

  • So much for 'freedom' in America...

    You're free to leave, aren't you?

    I was going to comment on the post, but I got sidetracked, somehow...

    Anyway, I did read it, and I think you for writing it, hala :)

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 4:26 am  

  • I can be the 'next target' and for no particular reason...

    Hmmm.... no particular reason, huh?

    Beloved Readers...For those of you referring to my website out of curiosity, after reading "Barry Bunguard's" attack on my letter of May 20, 2006 in the Columbus Dispatch, please know that I have been reading fallen G.I.'s names along with...

    You seem to be going out of your way to make yourself a target, zz. You want sympathy for your offensive behavior when people actually get offended? Have you gotten permission from the families of all those dead American troops to use their names (and memories) to attack the cause they died for?

    Have you?

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 4:34 am  

  • Dear Programmer Craig -
    now that you've identfied yourself:
    "free to leave"? I have no country to go to. My country is finished thanks to Bush's foreign policy.
    I was WITH the families of the Military who are AGAINST this war. I not only had their FULL consent. I had their blessings! I stood with mothers of fallen soldiers whose sons died so that Haliburton could thrive. Those select families (not even 25 at most) that did not want to be mentioned, had actually asked that their sons names be removed from the list. So NO I didn't read any names without families' consent.
    If in your own words, my taking part in an anti-war rally makes me a 'target'...Then I REPEAT...SO MUCH FOR FREEDOM IN AMERICA!
    Check your facts before you argue next time!

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 6:36 pm  

  • zz,

    now that you've identfied yourself

    Not sure what this is supposed to mean. I "identified" myself the same way I always do.

    "free to leave"? I have no country to go to. My country is finished thanks to Bush's foreign policy.

    Go to Canada. I don't care where you go... you obviously don't like the United States. Exercise your options.

    I was WITH the families of the Military who are AGAINST this war. I not only had their FULL consent. I had their blessings!

    And you read no other names? Can you provide their names and the names of the dead that you read? I would like to verify.

    If in your own words, my taking part in an anti-war rally makes me a 'target'...Then I REPEAT...SO MUCH FOR FREEDOM IN AMERICA!

    You said you were worried you'd be made a target for "no apparrent reason" - I pointed out an apparrent reason. No more, no less. If you choose to create problems for yourself, don't expect any sympathy if trouble comes your way.

    Check your facts before you argue next time!

    I will be happy to check the facts, once you provide them to me. I will require names, units and dates. Then I will get back to you.



    By Blogger programmer craig, at 4:38 am  

  • zz,

    You need to put the hate for America away my brother and think and be intellectually honest.

    Iraq was better under Saddam when he was having bullets put into babies and their Mothers heads?

    400,000 Iraqi have been found in mass graves all over Iraq so far, but Iraq was better?

    This is how Saddam treated Iraqis, but this was better?

    You must be Sunni. Only a self-absorbed Sunni would say something so calous and flipant.

    American and British Heroes have given the Iraqi people the only chance at freedom. No chance under Saddam.

    Iraq is the FIRST ARAB Democracy, in the HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST!

    Freedom will flourish. It has already started a yearning for the same in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain,

    It's happening in Jordan:

    It's happening in Lebanon:
    Lebanese protested for a CHRISTIAN!

    It's happening in Bahrain:

    It's happening in Iran:

    A FREE Iraq will creat hope throughout the Middle East.

    2,500 young Americans have given their lives for MUSLIMS. I have read some of their blogs. They believe in what they are doing for Iraqis is the RIGHT thing to do. I actually read one young man say he "would gladly give his life to provide the same freedom, he has enjoyed for 22 years and give that gift to millions of Iraqis.

    Wow...this will change the face of the Middle East. Islam needs to be reformed. Freedom and Democracy will provide that and provide freedom of religion to believe in prophets Jesus or Mohammed or both or deny both and freely be Agnostic if you wish.

    Assalamu alaikum.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 am  

  • "Prorgammer craig" is YOUR likes that need to leave. If the founding fathers of this country were to hear you today, they would ask just that of you. When I criticize civil liberties I am defending the principles that this country was founded on, which you obviously have no tolerance for.
    The event I'm referring to is fully supported by the Episcopalian church. Ask them for the facts with regards to names. It's called 'Eyes Wide Open' and it has toured 80 American cities by now. Everything we have done is documented -I don't 'make hings up'. Obviously, you've never experienced war. If you believe that attending an anti-war rally is 'creating problems for myself' than obviously your scope of thinking is very narrow my friend or maybe you need to grow up!
    As for Mr. much for the future of sectarian tolerance in Iraq! I was as much a victim of the ex-regime as the next person, but it's easy for you to use that argument. We should have been empowered to overthrow the regime and figure out our future for ourselves. We should not have been invaded...Never undermining the atrocities that the ex-regime committed (some of which my extended family experienced first hand), the last three years has witnessed the death of over 250,000 Iraqi civilians...Did that many die under "Whatisface' in 3 years? I would never defend the ex-regime so don't preach to me about mass graves. At least I know the names of two dear people who went to one right after the first Gulf war. Do you know any names?
    Do you seriously believe that an occupying power would promote the interests of the people occupied? You are very naive my 'Shiite' friend...Is that what you would like me to call you? It's a sorry state of affairs when not only do you presume my 'sectarian' background you attack my person for it! It's your likes and the thinking of your likes that is currently causing the demise of Iraq!

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 6:30 am  

  • "Prorgammer craig" is YOUR likes that need to leave.

    Interesting, you tell an American who loves and is proud of his country that he needs to leave it. Yet you, an immigrant who hates the United States, feels a right to stay here.

    If the founding fathers of this country were to hear you today, they would ask just that of you

    My family has been in North America since the 17th century. Such arrogance, for you to tell me what my own ancestors would think or do if they were alive today. Such arrogance.

    Obviously, you've never experienced war.

    You seem to make a lot of "obvious" assumptions about me, considering you don't know me at all.

    Again, I say: such arrogance.

    If you believe that attending an anti-war rally is 'creating problems for myself' than obviously your scope of thinking is very narrow my friend or maybe you need to grow up!

    You've dishonered American war dead by associating their names with a cause that is the opposite of the cause they died for. If I had my way, you'd be deported for that. My friend.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 4:04 pm  

  • Wow Hala, I bet you never thought your blog would inspire such strong and heated reactions and debate. Its been interesting to watch the verbal tennis match between ZZ and the programmer.

    It just goes to show what a dreamer John Lennon was...

    By Blogger Antar, at 4:36 pm  

  • Craig,
    That's the 'arrogance' that the founding fathers fought to eliminate. Sadly, you have dishonored them...
    Amen to that...

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 5:00 pm  

  • You presume to tell me I have dishonored my own ancestors, now? You're a disgusting person, zz. And unworthy of any more of my time.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 5:28 pm  

  • That level of language is beneath me...-Z.

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 5:54 pm  

  • Mr zz,

    The "sectarian violence" would have occured in an "overthrow" of the Saddam Regime anyways, with coalition troops presence it prevents a GENOCIDE of the minority Sunnis.

    Why didn't you be a man and stay in Iraq and lead this mission of overthrowing Saddam?

    If you were man enough to stay in Iraq and defend your own family and defend your own coutnry maybe Saddam would have been overthrown?
    Are you embarassed American men had to do the job you were to cowardly to accomplish?

    What a whiner you are. You said, "We should have been empowered to overthrow the regime and figure out our future for ourselves."
    What a whiner you sound like. The U.S. didn't prevent you from leading an overthrow of Saddam and Iraq is now "figuring out their future for themselves". First 8 million Iraqis voted. Then they voted for the FIRST CONSTITUTION in the history of the Middle East. Then 11 million Iraqis voted for their FREE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED Government.

    Iraqis are now controlling their own destiny and have formed their own Democracy where 11 million Iraqi voted.

    Have you looked at Iraq's new National Unity Government's Cabinet?

    Prime Minister:
    -Noori Al Malaki [Shiite]

    Deputy Prime Minister
    -Salam Al Zubai [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of Defense
    -General Abdel Qader Jassim [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of Interior
    -Jawad al-Bolani, [Shiite]

    Minister of National Security
    -Sherwan al-Waili [Shiite]

    Minister of Finance:
    -Bayan Jabor [Shiite]

    Iyad Allawi, leader of the Iraqi National List [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of Justice:
    -Hashim Al Shibli [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of Human Rights:
    -Wijdan Mikhael [Christian woman]

    Minister of Communications:
    -Mohammed Allawi [Shia Arab]

    Minister of Science and Technology:
    -Ra'ad Fahmi Jahid [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of Oil:
    -Hussain al-Shahristani [Shiite]

    Minister of Electricity:
    -Karim Waheed. [Shiite]

    Minister of Trade:
    -Abed Falah al-Sudani [Shiite]

    Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [Kurd]

    Deputy Prime Minister
    -Barham Saleh [Kurd]

    Minister of Water Resources:
    -Abdul Latif Rashid [Kurd]

    Minister of Environment:
    -Narmin Uthman [Kurdish woman]

    Minister of Housing and Construction:
    -Bayan Dazee [Kurdish woman]

    Adnan Al Dulaimi, leader of the Iraqi Accord Front

    Minister of Higher Education:
    -Abd Dhiyab Al Ajaili [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of Planning:
    -Ali Baban [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of State for Womens affairs:
    -Fatin Abdul Rahman Mahmud [Sunni Arab woman]

    Minister of State for Foreign Affairs:
    -Rafa Esawi [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of State for Provincial Affairs:
    -Saad Tahir [Sunni Arab]

    Minister of State:
    -Hassan Rhadi Khazim [Shiite]

    Minister for National Dialouge:
    -Akram Al Hakim [Shiite]

    Minister of State:
    -Mohammed Abbas [Shiite]

    Minister for Social Affairs:
    -Mahmoud Al Radhi [Shiite]

    Minister of Municipalities:
    -Riyadh Gharib [Shiite]

    Minister of Education:
    -Khdhayir Al Khuzai [Shiite]

    Minister of Health:
    -Ali Al Shamari [Shiite]

    Minister of State for Civil Society Affairs:
    -Adel Al Asadi [Shiite]

    Minister of State for House of Representatives affairs:
    -Safa al-Safi [Shiite]

    Minister of Youth and Sports:
    -Jassim Mohammed Jaafar [Shiite]

    Minister of State for Tourism and Archaeology affairs:
    -Liwa Semeism [Shiite]

    Minister of Transport:
    -Karim Mahdi [Shiite]

    Minister of Migration:
    -Abdul-Samad Rahman [Shiite]

    Minister of Agriculture:
    -Yarrub Nazim [Shiite]

    Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party [Kurd]

    Minister of Foreign Affairs:
    -Hoshyar Zebari [Kurd]

    Minister of State:
    -Ali Mohammed Ahmed [Kurd]

    Minister of Industry:
    -Fawzi Al Hariri [Kurd]

    Minister of Culture:
    -Asad Kamal Mohammed [Kurd]

    Wow...what balance.
    Had you been man enough to lead an "overthrow" of Saddam you wouldn't seen this kind of balance in a "Civil War" and "overthrow" of Saddam's Regime.

    400,000 Iraqis have been found in mass graves so far you useful idiot.

    You believe in an "overthrow" of Saddam or a "Civil War" wouldn't have been bloody? You live in la la land and are being coddled by the useful idiot American Lefty Groups and dishonor the American's who have given their lives to LIBERATE Iraq.

    Iraq is the first ARAB DEMOCRACY in the history of the Middle East. Iraqis had no chance at Democracy with Saddam.

    Iraq is better now than under Saddam and Iraq will continue to improve.
    Iraq had no chance under Saddam.

    Where was your outrage when Saddam was putting bullets in babies and their mother's heads? Where were you then?
    Running away?
    Abandoning Iraq and your "extended family"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:06 am  

  • Mr. Ali,
    First of all, you’re talking to a woman...If you had taken the time to read my blogs –before addressing me, your limited intelligence would have somehow told you as much…
    The sectarian violence would not have occurred because there would have been an army and police force in place -a central force to control the chaos that ensues with any invading army.
    The idiots (like yourself) who disbanded the army and police force, a faux pas that significant American generals have come to admit (and fortunately lacked your inflated ego), did not have the interest of the people in mind. No occupying force would!
    Sadly you lack a thorough knowledge of the Middle East and its history. We are NOT ‘the first democracy’ nor was our ‘so called constitution’ the first. We do not even have a democracy in the lawless state that is Iraq today. There are established democracies in Iran and Lebanon, and their constitutions were democratically established as well. There was nothing wrong with our constitution to begin with…It’s just that ’Whatisface’ abused it …and it is being abused now too. Where are women’s rights in this new constitution?
    The Iraqi people voted in elections based purely on ethnic and sectarian platforms that have only contributed to furthering the divide in the country… Who but an occupier would ‘divide and rule’? Did you never ask yourself that? And they only voted to drive the occupier out -not that they knew who or what they were voting for. Even the names of most candidates were not announced because of the chaotic security situtation.
    Imagine if in the United States Democrats were ‘Black’, Republicans ‘White’ and smaller parties were ‘Hispanic’…would things still work in America? Would not the existing racism really spin out of control?
    The US SUPPLIED the former dictator with arms. There are documented photos of ‘whatisface’ shaking hands with the notorious Rumsfeld! They supported him to suppress us! And then they imposed 12 years of sanctions that killed millions of our babies while he just thrived…and now they’ve come to save us?
    I very much see how ‘Iraqis are controlling their own destinies’ when the ‘democratically elected’ puppet government does not dare leave the fortified ‘Green Zone’ nor does it have a clue of what the people outside suffer on a daily basis!
    Sadly the fallen Americans gave their life to a lost cause. Their families now realize that and it is why they are fighting back.
    Nobody wanted to continue life under ‘whatisface’. We only needed help…We did NOT have to be invaded.
    I have honored the fallen Americans by reading their names. And I will again. I honored my countrymen too when I read the names of thousands of fallen innocent civilian victims. There were scores of babies in those lists. Is this the ‘better life’ that we were promised?
    Grow up, get a life and stop bugging me!

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 2:45 am  

  • I have honored the fallen Americans by reading their names.

    Stop that. Immediately. I fully support your deportation persona non grata if you do not. I have asked you for the names and units and dates of the service members you have been raeding the names of, along with the next of kin who authorized you to use their names. You have failed to provide that information. Therefore, I assume you are doing this on your own, to promote your own agenda, at the expense of dead Americans.

    STOP THAT. Some grieving family member is likely to do you HARM.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 4:14 am  

  • Miss zz,

    You are delussional. A "lost cause". I feel sorry for you. It is not brave to hang out with anti-Liberation useful idiot Lefty Americans and undermine your own coutnry's PROGRESS.

    You weren't a strong enough woman to scream about FREEDOM and atrocities in Iraq, and stand on your own CONVICTIONS, but you FLEE Saddam's Iraq come to America and bitch and moan when Iraq is finally LIBERATED and align yourself with anti-Liberation America haters who could give a crap about Iraq?
    Or what Democracy for Iraq will mean for a chance of real reform and Democracy throughout the Middle East.

    Then you want to "pretend" to appreciate the sacrifice of American Heroes who gave their lives for Iraqi's Liberation, but undermine their sacrifice??!!

    U.S. Forces continue to train the new Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police along with fighting Islamic Extremists trying to kill Iraqis. Mostly Shiites.

    If there had been a "revolt" it would have been led by the majority Shiites and many Sunni would have been killed along with many of the Army and Police. It would have been chaos as well.

    If you thought this could have been done why didn't your smart ass stay and LEAD the revolt in Iraq?

    Your la la land "belief" that everything would have been fine and that when Saddam was overthrown all the Army and Police would be in place is laughable. baahahahawaaaaa

    The Baathist's were majority Sunni, as were the LEADERS AND OFFICERS of the Iraq Army, and Iraqi Police and the majority loyal supporters of Saddam. It would have been chaos.

    By the way useful idiot the United States did not "arm" Saddam Hussein.

    Russia, France, and China were the top 3 weapons suppliers to Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 1991. The United States wasn't even in the top 10!

    Top weapons suppliers to Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 1988
    #1: USSR 15,700
    #2: France 3,630
    #3: Poland 218
    #4: Egypt 47
    #5: Czechoslovakia 45
    #6: Germany 31
    #7: Brazil 25
    #8: China 23
    #9: Switzerland 8
    #10: Spain 2
    #11: United States 1

    The U.S. and U.K. STOPPED all arms sales after the 1988 gassing of the Kurds, but Russia, France, and Germany continued to sell Saddam weapons and the SIPRI world wide arms sales documents show Russia, France, and Germany continueing to sell them up to 1991 and after 1991.

    And the United States sold AIRCRAFT and RADAR equipment. Not WEAPONS, but you go ahead and believe whatever makes you believe your bullshit.

    Cymbaline Mk-1 Arty locating radar (1985) 1986-88

    Bell-214ST Helicopter 1985 Originally part of order for 45 for civilian use but
    taken over by Air Force

    Hughes-300/TH-55 Light helicopter 1983 1984
    Officially bought for civilian use, but taken over
    by Air Force;

    Hughes-300C version
    30 MD-500MD Defender Light helicopter 1983 1983 (30)

    26 MD-530F Light helicopter 1985 1985-86 (26) Officially bought for civilian use, but taken over
    by Air Force

    The United States did not sell Saddam weapons to kill Kurds and Shiites and that is a disgusting thing for you to charge.

    But Russia and France sure the hell did and continued to do so after the 1988 gassing of the Kurds.

    Their are photos of many Western Leaders "shaking hands" with Saddam Hussein including Jacues Chirac. Most Western leaders and countries had relations with Saddam throughout the 80s until the gassing of the Kurds in 1988. The United States and Britain stopped relations, Russia, China, France, and Germany did not.

    And France was Iraq's #1 economic partner, throughout the 80s not the U.S.

    U.N. Secretary General "shakes hands" with Saddam Hussein in 1990...gasp:

    including terrorists:,arafat.JPG

    Sadly you lack a current knowledge of the situation in Iraq, which is understandable of an Iraqi who abandoned her own people rather than stay and lead the possible "revolt" you speak of.

    Iraqis take the lead.

    Iraqi begin to assume responsiblity of security of their own country.

    Democracy continues in Iraq.

    Iraqis embrace Democracy and fight terrorists with their votes, 11 million strong,(Miss zz watches and bitches and moans in America).

    This Iraqi voter was brave enough to vote, but where was Miss zz? Sitting on her fat butt in America bitching and moaning.

    Looks like these Iraqi women embraced Democracy, but where was Miss zz? Hanging out with useful idiot Lefty American who don't give a crap about Democracy for Iraq. Many brave Iraqis (Men and Women) have given their lives in trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein. All failed with brutal consequences.

    The U.S. has now given the Iraqis their only chance at a FREE Democracy. Any way it was done was not going to be easy and everyone knew it would be a long fight, but the majority of Iraqis thought it was worth it.

    Are you saying that the United States put the bullets into babies and their mother's heads and not by Saddam? You are delussional.

    You can find the BBC link with a search of
    "babies mass graves BBC".

    Assalamu alaikum miss zz Sunni

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:17 am  

  • ZZ

    You mention two countries which according to you are democratic right now, Lebanon and Iran.

    Lebanon is fledgling democracy but with Hizbullah backed by Syria and Iran it will take it a long time to be fully democratic.

    You also mention Iran.
    First of all Iran does not have democratic rulers it is Islamic Republic of Iran and the highest ranking political leader is not a president but supreme leader who is elected not by vote but by Assembly of Experts..
    Secondly if Iran is democratic why so many people are still going to Evin prison and prisoners have to write to friends "Coming[statements from prison] in writing or video, whatever contradicts my early views is invalid" Why do the iranian police beat women and students who demonstrated recently for democracy and their rights. Why Judge Mortazavi under whose care died Kazemi, journalist from Canada, is right now a representative to Human Right Council.

    You mention that you could be a "target for no particular reason". If you get arrested your lawyer will get you out, people in ACLU will be protesting and you will not be tortured. Try to demonstrate for democracy in your "democratic" country Iran.

    You also mention that you can not leave America, why? Could you not go to Iran, which is according to you a democratic country? Could you not go to Indonesia, which is also muslim country? Finally, could you not go to France? What prevents you from changing the country if you are fealing unsure for your safety in USA.

    I agree with programer craig, you have no right to say to him "it is YOUR likes that need to leave. " It seems to me that you do not even know Iranian system, but you think you already know better american system then the people who live there longer then you.

    You also write "We should have been empowered to overthrow the regime and figure out our future for ourselves. We should not have been invaded.." Empowered how? Al Jazira and Al arabiya clearly shown preferences of their listeners, did they do anything? They could only protest against the sanctions and the americans and keep Sadam in power. You, yourself, also done next to nothing. Who, in you view, should empower you in the past and how?

    You are right, Iraq was a democratic country before Sadam, however, the end of democracy in Iraq did not come from outside, it come from inside.


    I agree, at least in that, with ZZ, it was a beautiful piece of writing. I think you should be proud of your history and at the same time look to the future and work for that future. And I believe you should not lose hope that Iraq one day will be a democratic country however far away and impossible it may seem now. With so many talented people like you, Zeyad and others how could it be otherwise?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:37 am  

  • Craig,
    I will NOT stop. I am part of the Episcopalian Church’s campaign. You need to take that up with the Church if you want that stopped. You can contact them at:
    As for your threat, I can take that to the FBI, and you will have to answer to them, eventually.

    Mr. Idiot Ali,
    Can you deny that the US gave Iran arms while it supplied the ex-regime with satellite information? Check your facts!
    Can you deny that the US remained silent when the Kurds were gassed? Again, check your facts!
    As for women’s rights in the ‘new Iraq’, go read the constitution well before you argue with me!
    And you still speak with a sectarian tone, it’s probably ingrained in you. That I repeat is what will cause the demise of Iraq!

    Who are YOU to dictate where I go? What gives you that authority? What if I told you that I was a US citizen and have every right to be here like you do? Does that make you think again? Did you think you had the upper hand because you thought I was an ‘illegal immigrant’? My criticism of the public policy that the Neocons have imposed on Americans is shared by a vast majority of Americans. I am NOT alone. So is criticism of America’s foreign policy. I voice the opinions of a much larger crowd that you would like to admit. Constructive critism is NOT 'anti-American'. The fact that the mainstream corporate-controlled media does not give us a voice does not mean that your Fox-news ‘brain-washed’ impressions are correct!
    Hizballah is a recognized party along with other parties in Lebanon. The fact that they are black-listed in the United States does not render them outside of the democratic process in Lebanon.
    I did not say ‘I want to leave the US’. I would have wanted to return to Iraq someday, my native country, but now there is no country to return to. It is not up to you to suggest where I should go…That’s ridiculous. I asked Craig to leave because he asked me to leave first. ‘Older’ citizens do NOT have the right to deport newer citizens on a ‘whim’! He talks as if he has NO knowledge of the constitution. That is why I argued that he has failed the founding fathers of this country.
    I do not deny that Iran is not the perfect democracy, but they have their own democratically established system. As for violations of human rights, the US is not far behind on that with Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, which literally has raised world-wide outrage!
    You’re right, I can turn to the ACLU, and I would not be tortured, nevertheless, there were and still exist entire families whose lives were ruined because of racial profiling in the United States, and sometimes there’s little that even the ACLU can do. As a recent immigrant and citizen, I know the system better than you.
    After 12 years of draconian sanctions, Iraq’s whole infrastructure was at its knees. It would not have taken much to topple the regime, but America had to maintain a permanent military presence there for strategic economic reasons. They are building the largest embassy in the world, and huge military bases. Is that not occupation?

    If I had not been politically persecuted and forced to leave the country, if I was still there when the time came for a change, I would have welcomed any US help to incur a change. But those who were in Iraq prior to ‘Shock and Awe’, were not given that opportunity.

    For you to deny that the chaos created by the US invasion (outside intervention) and its paving for the civil strife (inside) is very short-sighted on your part, I’m afraid.



    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 11:41 am  

  • for the record ali is ella &(s)he is one hake of a paste and cut achiever

    as for Craig

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:33 pm  

  • zz,

    I will NOT stop. I am part of the Episcopalian Church’s campaign.

    If you are not a citzien, you have no legal right to be getting involved in political activities in the United States. The US is at war in Iraq, and if you are an Iraqi national, you could very easily be charged with espionage, zz. Seriously.

    What you are doing is ILLEGAL. It's alos IMMORAL. I find it especially disturbing that the Episcopalean Church is involved in something so unethical, since they are supposed to be moral guides for their followers. I was raised Episcopalean. Thankfully, I left that Church some 20 years ago, before they fell into abject moral decay.

    But that's not the point. The point is, you're in violation of US law with your activities.

    As for your threat, I can take that to the FBI, and you will have to answer to them, eventually.

    Please do so. They should be apprised of what you are doing. In fact, I INSIST that you take this up with the FBI. I eagerly await being contacted by them. My e-mail is in my profile. I'm sure they can track my real name and contact information from my IP address. As they can do with you. I will gladly risk being in some sort of "trouble" with the FBI, if it means you will be deported as a result.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 5:25 pm  

  • I can only reiterate the former comment Craig...LOL...LOL...LOL...
    Oh and FYI...I AM a it's my word against yours really...

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 5:56 pm  

  • Dear ZZ,

    Thanks for continuning to speak out, even as others attack you. This is America, and you should be free to speak your mind, without violence, threats, and people trying to kick you out of the country.

    Some supporters of the Iraq war seem ignorant of history. They don't seem to know that the US overthrew democracy in Lebanon in 1946!

    They don't know that the US supported Saddam Hussein, and gave him the weapons he used. They don't seem to know the US has killed more Iraqis through war and sanctions than Saddam ever dreamed of. Just because Saddam Hussein was awful doesn't mean the US occupation is automatically better.

    People love to comfort themselves with lies, and get mad when you speak the truth. Truth is no less true just because we Americans don't want to hear it!

    I am sorry for our role in destroying Iraq and our unjust policies over the last quarter century. I hope there is someday a new Iraq, and that the people know true freedom.

    God bless you, ZZ.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:35 pm  

  • anonymous at 3:33

    for the record, any quotations in my answer to zz are clearly seen, all other words and views are clearly my own. You, on the other hand, can not even put together one proper sentence.


    Well, if US gave Iran arms and at the same time gave Sadam satelite information don't you think that both countries received equal help. Therefore, at the end, help to Iran negated help to Iraq and vice versa?

    You are saying that USA was silent when the Kurds were gased at Halabja, but were was the help for them from their arab friends outside of Iraq? Have you heard about any protest from "arab street" regarding treatment of the Kurds, anything at all? And why majority of Kurds are now so pro-american in contrast to majority of arabs? Would that be because majority of muslims were silent and did nothing about their aspirations and sufferring?

    Now, now, ZZ why are you so angry? I did not "dictate you to go", I asked you why not go elsewhere if , as you say, you are afraid for your safety in US. Why stay in the country where your safety is compromised?
    If, as you say, majority of americans have the same attitude as you towards administration I do not see any reason to be afraid, apart from paranoia.
    And, where did I say you are/were "illegal immigrant"?

    Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, so popular. People who perpetrated things in abu ghraib were judged and sentenced, where are the sentences for people who torture in Iran? Their sentences are to be representatives to Human Rights Councill.......see the difference?. And how many people heard about Evin prison? About real torture (not with dogs) in iranian prisons? We hear only about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo because of American free press which is possible thanks to the democratic system of USA and western countries. We do not hear about torture in Iranian prisons, closing of iranian newspapers, torture of people in Egypt (not only by the government), cutting of heads in Saudi Arabia (as per sharia) because there is no free press in these countries (democratic countries according to you, at least Iran). Do you really think that Al Jazira have any access to information about what is going on in magic kingdom or in Iran?

    You mentioned racial profiling in US, terribly sorry, but I will take US racial profiling any day over non-racial profiling in Iran, KSA. and Egypt. In iran there is no racial profiling, it is just that people of different nationality/religion do not have an access to universities or jobs. In KSA people can not pray, well they can, but only if they are muslims, in Egypt people of different religion, non-muslim, do not have access to some governmental jobs, services etc.

    You also say, that as a recent immigrant and citizen you know system better then I................ Well, as an immigrant myself if I were you I would not be so sure.

    In contrast to what you are saying, civil strife was an undercurrent in Iraq all the time, it just was kept in reign by Sadam. In your history that undercurrent was visible even during Otoman era. I am not saying that shia and sunni can not or would not live in peace together, but right now there is a strugle for power in Iraq between different religious/political groups and a civil war is a part of that struggle. It does not have much to do with USA forces staying in the country.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:03 pm  

  • Why yes zz I have read Iraq's constitution and freedom of religion, freedom of speech, AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE ALL GUARANTEED. Do you prefer to be ignorant of facts to promote your whineing?

    Article 14:
    Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination based on GENDER, race, ethnicity,
    origin, color, religion, creed, belief or opinion, or economic and social status.

    Article 20:
    The citizens, men and WOMEN, have the right to participate in public affairs and to enjoy
    political rights including the right to vote, to elect and to nominate.

    Article 30:
    First: The state guarantee to the individual and the family – especially children
    and WOMEN – social and health security and the basic requirements for leading a
    free and dignified life. The state also ensures the above a suitable income and appropriate housing.

    Iraqis take the lead and U.S. Forces continue to train, provide security, hunt terrorists, and train Iraq's new Army and Police, while Iraq's new National Unity Government begins to lead as well:

    Wow...Iraq has come a long way in only 3 years.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 pm  

  • Anonymous at 7:35,

    The sanctions were approved by the United Nations approved by the majority of Western Countries and the "oil for food" program provided Iraq with the food needed to survive. Saddam CHOSE to starve his own people you jack ass.

    You are the ignorant one. You speak "talking points" not based on facts, but what the Lefty useful idiots like to feed idiots like you.

    The United States didn't arm Saddam Hussein and that is a claim the America-haters like to promote, but the FACTS speak for themselves.
    The United States wasn't even in the top 10 of sales to Saddam from 1979 to 1988, and they sold Iraq radar equipment and aircraft not the guns, missiles, and tanks sold by Russia, France, and China.

    Top weapons suppliers to Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 1988
    #1: USSR
    #2: France
    #3: Poland
    #4: Egypt
    #5: Czechoslovakia
    #6: Germany
    #7: Brazil
    #8: China
    #9: Switzerland
    #10: Spain
    #11: United States

    The U.S. and U.K. STOPPED all arms sales after the 1988 gassing of the Kurds, but Russia, France, and Germany continued to sell Saddam weapons and the SIPRI world wide arms sales documents show Russia, France, and Germany continueing to sell them up to 1991 and after 1991.

    France and Russia were also owed the most money by Saddam Hussein and were the two countries blocking diplomacy and more U.N. Resolutions to get Saddam to comply peacefully!!

    I noticed you completely ignored the fact that France was Iraq's #1 economic supporter and helped prop up the Dictator Saddam than any other Western Country not the United States.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 am  

  • Fantastic points Ella. I enjoy your writing and intellectual honesty.

    To add on the Abu Graib scandal this is Abu Graib under Saddam Hussein. Saddam's prison guards received PROMOTIONS for being good torturers and killing Iraqis.

    U.S. Guards who abused and belittled their prisoners did receive justice by years in prison. They didn't kill anyone or do anything close to what Saddam did in Abu Graib: beheadings, limb amputations, breaking of limbs, etc...
    They abused prisoners and are serving prison time. *10 YEARS in PRISON for abusing prisoners. *5 1/2 YEARS IN PRISON. *3 YEARS IN PRISON. *8 YEARS IN PRISON.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 am  



    98% of Shia say "It was worth it"

    91% of Kurds say "It was worth it"

    13% of Sunni say "It was worth it"
    Miss zz is also Sunni.

    Moreover, that same report shows most Iraqis still say that they are better off now than before the war. No country "likes" having foreign troops in their country, but the majority of Iraqis understand they are still needed at this most important time in Iraq's history.

    Keep up the great work Ella!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 am  

  • Ella,
    I have personally met General Karpinski who was in charge during Abu Ghraib. She gave a talk in Cleveland, Ohio that I attended. According to her, the orders came from the very top brass in the Pentagon...Just like they come from the very top for Guantanomo, where three prisoners took their lives because they could not stand the torture any further.
    As a country that went waging wars against countries violating human rights, the United States is supposed to set an example. Unfortunately,it has done the opposite.
    Dictators like whatisface are established tyrants; they never 'boasted their human rights records!'
    Your argument that 'since the US provided help to both warring countries, Iran and Iraq (stoking the fire) instead of trying to induce Peace is only another example of failed US foreign policy. Don't you see that?
    As for the Kurdish question. Why should you ask the neighboring dictatorships for help when they are all under the American thump? Condi Rice herself stated that the US had supported authoritarian regimes in the ME since the 50s which is why they want a 'new' policy in the region now.
    It's interesting that you cite Egypt and KSA as exmples of places where human rights are violated. Have you not asked yourself then why these two countries in particular are the CLOSEST US alies in the region? They have FULL US support!
    If civil strife was current in Iraq all the time can you explain why since the establishment of the independent state of Iraq there has never been blood between sects and now there is? More than 50% of Iraqis inter-marry between sects. Did you know that as a fact? What is causing them to kill each other now?
    We need to look beyond our noses...
    Oh! One more thing, the person whom you described as 'not able to put one sentence together' is an established writer and well published in Ohio...So much for your short-sightedness!
    P.S. Ali buzz off...too bad we can't use pesticide in cyber space!

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 1:11 am  

  • I'm certain we all remember the Declaration of Independence:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

    The United States subscribes to a system of international laws in which the following principles are enshrined: (These are included in the Charter of the Organization of American States).

    "No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements.

    "No State may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another State and obtain from it advantages of any kind.

    "The territory of a State is inviolable; it may not be the object, even temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures of force taken by another State, directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatever . . . ."

    These principles are also enshrined in The Charter of the United Nations:

    "Every State has the duty to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. Such a threat or use of force constitutes a violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations and shall never be employed as a means of settling international issues."


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:13 am  

  • zzzzzzz,

    Your intellectual dishonesty continues.

    Janet Karpinski has ZERO credibility. She was removed from Command of Abu Graib Prison in DISGRACE, because she lost control of her prison. The photos in Abu Graib Prison abuse were taken over a ONE NIGHT period lasting 4 hours. Lynndie England admitted to violating orders and visited her boyfriend, Spc Graner, at Abu Graib and she said it was Spc Charles Graner's idea to abuse the prisoners and take photos.

    No "orders" were given from "higher ups" and if they had been that would make Janet Karpinski liable as well.

    As for your hollow claims that the U.S. has "not set an example" then why are U.S. Soldiers serving jail time for abusing prisoners? *10 YEARS in PRISON for abusing prisoners. *5 1/2 YEARS IN PRISON. *3 YEARS IN PRISON. *8 YEARS IN PRISON.

    Did you miss that information or just choose to be a useful idiot to promote your whineing agenda and hate for America?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 am  

  • Breaking news.

    500 chemical weapons were found in Iraq. Saddam Hussein had declared them "DESTROYED" in 1991.

    Why would Saddam say he destoryed Mustard Gas and Sarin Gas WMDs, but they were found in Iraq not DESTROYED.

    Good job U.S.A. and Britain.

    History will show the Iraq War was the right thing to do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:33 am  

  • zz, you don't really have much to say, do you? A lot of name dropping about people you "met" and people you "know" and you repeat Cindy Sheehan's talking points.

    I repeat what I said before. You're a disgustig person. You can LOL all you want, but for you to use the names of American war dead to attack the cause they died for is beyond despicable. It's flatly immoral. I suggest you develop some philosophies of your own if you wish to continue your "career" as an anti-war activist, and stop standing on teh shoulders of your betters.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 7:09 am  

  • I grew up in the Southern USA, a small town. And yet I have learned, gradually to love a land I was not born in. Just as some Christians have learned to love Jerusalem and the Holy land even though they are not Jewish or Palestinian. There are Moslems who have a deep love for Mecca even though they have not made the pilgrimage, and don't live in the Middle East. I have learned to love Iran and Iraq in the same way.

    Students of history can see that religious love is THE ONLY thing that can overcome the blind fanatic of ethnocentrism

    Why don't we try to let go, let go...let go of this desire to be the big fish in the little pond of Madly's comment posting. Let the tie go to the ones who were "here"(Iraq, USA, Where ever) first. And the rest of us learn to wait in line, as the good children we are supposed to be ;-)

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:20 am  

  • Mr."Kafir"
    I'm not surprised you quote fox news..That tells it all for me. Abu Ghraib happened in one night?...Do you seriously believe your own fabrication? Iraq is now a success? Really? How come the rest of the world says just the opposite! Are you a mouth piece for BUSH? If women now have their freedom in Iraq, why is every single 'libertated' woman I know there forced to take the headscarf, forced to stay away from the workforce, cannot even travel unchaperoned! Wake up! YOU are delusional.

    YOU are DISGUSTING (quoting your disgusting word) to criticize the mother of a fallen soldier! Do not even mention Cindy Shehan's name!I thought you said this argument was not worth your time...

    As young men, none of you have had the BALLS to experience a war. I survived two, and I know it wrong and nothing justifies it! In this world, you are a minority in your thinking, brain-washed by right-wing, fox-News tainted information -even if you believe more people think like you. Obviously too, you are too young to fathom the meaning of destruction that comes with war.
    I will not say more. It will not be long before Iraq disintegrates into a fully fledged civil war. Then you can preach your success stories to deaf ears...because nobody will listen no matter what justification you gave for murder and destruction!

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 11:56 am  

  • Why Bush's Iraq is Worse Than Saddam's

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:04 pm  

  • Ali Kafir, how sectarian you are! You keep throwing out that ZZ is if this is a crime. The Shiites should have learned a lesson when they stood up to Saddam during the first Gulf War. They thought the promised US support would back them, but when it was over, your beloved US let them be slaughtered in retribution!

    It is not about who is Sunni, or Shiite, or Kurd. Either there is to be an Iraq, and all are Iraqis or let the carving begin!

    Ali, what stake do you have in Iraq? You are a Western boot licker, and you live in the West. It's a lot easier to sit in the comfort of America or England and discuss how splended the invasion, since you don't have to fear the bombs dropping on your kids, or drink the filthy water, or watch see your newborn with no eyes, thanks to DU.

    The US/UK invasion is criminal. Period.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:11 pm  

  • "....Saddam CHOSE to starve his own people you jack ass.

    You are the ignorant one. You speak "talking points" not based on facts, but what the Lefty useful idiots like to feed idiots like you."

    Saddam this Saddam that. If he was so evil, why was he a friend of the US for so long? There are still pictures of Donald Rumsfield shaking hands with him and giving him a pair of golden spurs as a gift. I don't need a "left idiot" to tell me anything.

    Besides, starving 1.5-2million people to death is inexcusable. Clinton presided over more deaths than either Bush, and I hold him accountable. This is not about labels like "democrat" or "lefty." Wrong is wrong and neither party has done right by Iraq.

    Also, I am not a "lefty." I am a RIGHT WINGER from the TRUE conservative past. You need a poli sci 101 class.

    Intervention on behalf of democracy and nation building are LEFTIST ideas. You are the ignorant jackass.

    You are hogging zz's forum for your nonsense. We've heard enough of you. Why don't you go post over on Free Republic with your other stupid, hateful buddies?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:31 pm  

  • zz,

    I'm not surprised you quote fox news..That tells it all for me.

    FOX News is the most popular news channel in America. So, yes, that should tell it "all" for you, about how out of touch with American public opinion you really are, my dear zz.

    YOU are DISGUSTING (quoting your disgusting word) to criticize the mother of a fallen soldier!

    Her OWN family criticize her, Habibti, loudly and frequently. Her husband divorced her over her antics. If her son was alive, I'm certain he would criticize her, seeing as how he voluntarily re-enlisted DURING the war in Iraq. Furthermore, I find it strange that you put so much importance on the wishes of the mother of ONE fallen soldier, while at the same time you SPIT ON the families of so many OTHER fallen soldiers.

    As young men, none of you have had the BALLS to experience a war.

    You're such a disgusting beast. I was an enlsited man in the infantry for 6 years, in the Marines. You don't know a damn thing about me. I know people who've been in Iraq 3 times already, and in Afghanistan twice, and I think they'd really love to have a little chat with you, about dishonoring the memories of their dead friends. Maybe some day, they'll have that opportunity.

    In the meantime, I'll have no further correspondence with you. You're vermin.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 3:58 pm  

  • Dear all

    Thank you for this long discussion.
    I think the main subject has been exhausted and personal issues have no place in here.

    By Blogger hala_s, at 4:12 pm  

  • Ya all Iraqistanians and Ya all mozleems and sunnistani's..You need to go back to your country Africa.. Just let us Americans drink our Bud and enjoy our freedom.. and change your blog name - to madly in love with Operation enduring freedom ..Remember "Either you with us or against us" ..

    In the end I want to remind you of our what our national Anthem says.

    And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:30 pm  

  • Hala

    That was elegently written and very eye opening. having a nation as diverse as Iraq is both a gift and a burden, but in the end I hope it is more of a gift. Ifinite diversity in infinite combinations.


    You are so correct! Democracy and freedom cannot be imported. It needs to be borne from a grassroots movement. Now, as I have read many Iraqi blogs, I feel that the seed for democracy is in Iraq. It will be a long and hard road to true democracy. the occupation will only lead to smothering the seed and killing it. If you look at any country in the world where democracy was implanted or imported you see corruption and total failure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:10 pm  

  • This whole debate would have been better if it was free of the name calling and insults. I know this is a heated subject but please try to addresss the persons arguments and not attack the person.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:43 pm  

  • zz

    I don't really care if you met general Karpinski or not. She was formally admonished and suspended and then investigation into a prison was authorized by Lieutant General Ricardo Sanchez. You may believe what she was saying but to me it seems that she wanted to put blame on somebody else and minimize her own faults. Furthermore the military who perpetrated attrocities in Abu Ghraib have been punished. I believe that people who torture other people should be put in prison, regardles of whether they are american, iraqi or citizens of any other country.
    I also do not agree about your statement about alledged torture in Guantanamo. Do/Did they beat people in Guantanamo? Don't they have access to the lawyers? It seems curious that some people who got released from Gitmo got connected to their terrorists buddies and started to spew hatred for the west. If anybody did tortured prisoners he/she should stand trial and go to prison. However I do believe that there should be an evidence of a torturing prisoners but for now I do not see it. What's more people in Gitmo were caught in Afghanistan and whatever we say about them now, most of them did fight for Taliban.

    Although USA administration do support KSA and Egypt it also supports other countries (Turkey comes to mind). Many times US administration protested against the human abuses of both Mubarak government and KSA government however administration is between the rock and the hard place. On the one hand corrupted politicians on the other hand fundamentalists who hate the west and their own secular compatriots.

    About alledged writer:I do not care if the person is writer elsewhere or not, I only see what s/he is writing on this blog and my words are regarding his/her writing on this blog.


    I believe that Iraq can and will be a free and (perhaps) democratic country.I do agree with heretical jew that iraq do not need help with democracy. Iraq was, at least for a short time, democratic country and it can be such in the future. The question what kind of country Iraq will be can be only anwered by Iraqis and by nobody else. However, I think, Iraq now needs some help not with democracy but with fight against terrorists who get money from neighbouring countries and the fight against thugs some of whom deem themselves resistance but kill not only americans but their own, iraqi, people. The rest is up to Iraqis to work out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:12 pm  

  • Heretical Jew,
    Thank you for your brave comments, especially with regards to insults. In the end, it only really reflects character and upbringing.

    A considerable percentage of Guantanamo detainees were NGO aid workers. They were sold to the US army by the Pashtuns and other 'ex-drug war lords'. They have no access to lawyers. The United Nations has deemed the entire detention facility illegal. Human Rights Watch has determined severe violations of human rights. Torture does not have to be physical. Tell me, what would prompt three people to take their lives had they not been tortured?
    If the politicians in Egypt and KSA are 'corrupt' -in your own words, then why is the American government dealing with them at all?
    It's all a matter of perspective in the end. I don't believe that democracy comes with occupation. I agree with you that we needed help. And that is exactly what I had said earlier. "We needed to have been empowerd to make a change, not invaded."
    I deplore the terrorists who are killing Americans and Iraqis as much as you do, but tell me, who let them in? Who disbanded the only centralized force that could have contained the country and futher left the borders unsecured. The Geneva convention stipulates that it is up to the occupier to establish and maintain security in the occupied country. Even as an occupier, the US failed.
    The critism of this situation (Iraq as a whole) has now reached congress, and they are debating the futility of staying, after they 'broke it'...As Toles once mentioned in a cartoon...'You break it, you keep it!'-in exact reference to the Iraq situation...It makes me wonder, did the Americans 'break it to keep it'?...Just a thought. ;)

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 9:10 pm  

  • The SITUATION in Iraq.




    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:14 pm  

  • ZZ

    I am suprised at what you are saying. In the first place the Taliban was composed mainly of Pashtuns who where previously studying in madrasas in Pakistan (that's the reason for their name - taliban), and of foreign fighters. Northern aliance were people of Tajics/Hazras/Uzbecs/Shia ethnicity/religion and not many of them were Pashtuns or deobandi.
    Secondly most of NGO's left Afghanistan before the american attacks on Taliban.
    Thirdly neither HRW nor (to my knowledge) Amnesty International accussed USA of buying people. Although they are saying that some people may not have been Taliban fighters they do not say they were NGOs workers.

    You ask me what may have prompted people to take their own life in Gitmo. I do not have clear answer for you. It may be they were depressed, it may be they were psychologically abused but it may be they were angry. Anger and the knowledge that their suicide will prompt others to accuse americans of torture and mistreatment may pushed them to suicide Some people can do that if their hate is strong enough. They would then see it not as suicide, they would see it as martyrdom, as a fight.

    You ask me why the american government is dealing with KSA and Egipt, I can ask you why Iran who is governed by sharia and mullahs is dealing with China and Venezuela.

    You say where did terrorists came from. But majority of terrorists are Iraqis, nobody let them in, they were already there.
    I never said that americans did not make a mistakes, for example, in disbanding the Iraqi army (this, I think, is the centralized force you are talking about), but disbanding Iraqi army was, unfortunately, a mistake of american idealism not of realism.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 am  

  • Reports are that the administration in Hilla
    has plans to restore the Hanging Gardens of Babylon ... so someday
    hopefully soon Iraqi can see
    the restoration.

    Well ACLU member .... I ask you
    how has your family contributed
    to the United States ???

    My family sent 4 members into combat during WWII ... 2 to fight the Nazis ... do you recognize
    Nazi germany and its Horrors ...
    2 Others Fought the Japaneese ...
    After the foolish Emporer bombed Pearl Harbor ....

    Additionally my Brother fought
    in Vietnam ...

    So Muslim boy waiting for big bad US government to arrest you for no
    reason ... I ask what has your Family done for the Common Good
    of The United States ....

    Is it a big deal for you if police
    stop you ??? If you are questioned
    by a governmenty official???

    Thats some big sacrifice in these times of Terrorism ???

    You dear Muslim in a few years
    the United States may bring Back
    the selective service system
    in order to staff our military ...
    If selected will you come forward ... or will you leave at
    the first time you are asked to

    Its laughable Muslims
    in the USA crying about being profiled ... well how does the security services allocate scarce
    resources to protect all the subways ... buildings etc ...
    I guess we should be watching
    Hasidic Jews more carefully ...
    Perhaps the Mormon groups should be monitored.

    All people living in the US must
    contribute to the security.

    If you are unwilling to accept
    a bit more scrutiny during this
    time period you are indeed
    free ... FREE TO LEAVE

    Someone enjoying the economy and
    security of the USA and whining
    with an ACLU card ... I ask again

    And By the way ... two ELECTED
    Parliaments in IRAQ have
    NOT ASKED THE US Forces to leave yet ... So unless you wish
    to return to Iraq and join a party
    in order to vote for US Forces to leave then let your ELECTED Government work over the next year or so ...

    Or better yet return to Iraq
    and join the new Iraqi army ...
    And if you do ... volunteer
    to patrol Ramadi or Haditha ...
    volunteer to man the checkpoints
    which are to prevent explosives
    from moving throughout
    Iraqi cities .... every
    Iraqi trained and manning checkpoints means US Forces
    can leabe sooner .... so go for
    it already and then form the Iraqi
    Civil Liberties Union ....
    perhaps have an Office right oustside al-Sadr's in Najaf ...
    you can use your office to promote
    Western Music and Films and TV ...
    You can use it to Promote Homosexuality ...women wearing mini skirts and Halter Tops ...
    Yes Muslim in US worrying about his freedoms ...
    NEEDED HERE!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:22 am  

  • I believe the new Iraq Police
    Forces accept women candidates
    as such ZZ can now return home
    and help the American Forces Leave.

    ASs another blogger mentioned
    ZZ can now go home can now
    man the checkpoints in Baghdad.
    Can now patrol with other Iraqi

    And lets not be people who can
    state with certainty how wonderful
    things would have been in
    Iraq if Bremmer did not disband
    the Iraqi police and Army

    1) If the army and police
    were brought back
    the huge population of Shia
    would have been shut out of the security forces this would have led to opression just as if Saddam
    was in power ....

    2)Allawi was supposed to open the dialog and bring back and INTEGRATE the former security services with the new services
    therby giving all a chance.

    3)The insurgents continued and
    increased the
    more conservative Shia elements
    had strict anti-Baathist policies ... this was NOT

    Again as another blogger mentioned

    TWO ELECTED Parliaments ...
    neither has called for immediate
    withdrawal of US Forces ....

    Why these left-wing people
    do not respect these incredible elections I will never know ...
    If Hamas wins in Palestinian territories its the greates thing in the world ... but Iraqi elections .... where the MP are under threats and their families
    are under threats to be killed
    the left wing fools treat them
    like dirt ....

    I repeat Iraq has 275 elected
    MP .... they control the status
    of Coalition forces... they can vote for removal ANY TIME.

    I would also like to point out
    that ZZ should be carefull who
    you associate with ... protests
    are fine ... but you may not
    understand the agendas of some of the groups you may be involved with ... within many legitimate groups may lurk people whose intentions ARE NOT PEACEFULL

    Its important for you not to be taken advantage of like Cindy Sheehan was ... I mean going on about Israel and the Jews after her sons death ... being prepped
    for the cameras with all her little friends and prepared statements ....

    Maliki is presenting his reconcilliation plans
    Sunday ... lets hope all these
    "Patriotic Insurgents" accept
    it and stop the killing ....
    Its the fastest way for US withdrawal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 am  

  • zz,

    I feel sorry for you. You hanging out with the wrong brain washed people.

    Read and learn. You need to take time to read some info on what's really going on in Iraq for last 3 years.

    Amazing Progress.

    I don't call you names anymore. I just realize you are aroud wrong people.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:17 am  

  • Ella,

    There is a British documentary called "Guantanamo" that has very recently been released. I suggest you watch it.
    The earliest British subjects released were confirmed as NGO members. Most aid workers remained even during war. That is their purpose; to help those under fire and provide the basic services that come with the destruction of infrastructure that is war.

    As for the suicides at Guantanamo, let me ask you, if the victims wanted to send ‘that sort of’ message, what consideration did prison authorities have for human life that they allowed it to happen? I believe to brush off their taking of their lives as an act of 'pure hate' is a complete disregard for human life.

    All countries of the world deal with each other despite their differences. They just don't go interfering in their internal affairs so blatantly, dictating their own agendas on other countries, imposing radical changes through invasion, warfare and the like...The whole purpose of the establishment of the United Nations was to prevent just that. Further, they don't promote 'corrupt' regimes as ‘allies’ because it fits their agendas. Do you not question why Libya which is notorious for its human rights violations is now establishing diplomatic ties with the US because it renounced any plans for nuclear weapon development. I personally know the diplomat that was sent there. This is what I call ‘double standards’ in US foreign policy dealings. It’s OK if you slaughter your people if you’re on our side. If not, they we will come get you under that exact pretext!

    The ‘Zarqawis’ in Iraq are NOT IRAQI. All news media refer to them as “Foreign Fighters” and rightly so. Iraqis do NOT kill each other unless certain dirty elements are prompted to do so by outside forces and these constitute a minority.

    As for the US’s ‘idealism’ in creating a stable situation in Iraq, I suggest you refer to Naomi Klein’s famous article in Harper Magazine She emphasizes with strong evidence that it was the Bush’s government exact intention to ‘wipe out’ the entire economic infrastructure in Iraq because it seriously believed it could create a totally ‘free tariff-less economic zone’ where oil would fund all US and Western investments. In Naomi’s own words, “A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment.” They just did not expect all this resistance from ALL sides really.

    You can also refer to the documentary shown on the BBC which shows how the CPA squandered 20 Billion of Iraq’s own money collect from remaining assets and the oil for food program. Were they ‘idealistic’ in allowing war profiteers to steal that money under the ‘umbrella’ of reconstruction?,2763,1522983,00.html

    A few days ago, Al-Maliky announced the necessity of establishing a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Let’s see how much power a ‘democratically elected’ president has over a super power occupying force!



    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 6:24 pm  

  • Here you go zz.

    Go join the Iraqi Police.

    These brave Iraqi women did you can, too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:10 pm  


    "KUWAITIS go to the polls next week to elect a new National Assembly, which will in turn approve a new Prime Minister and Cabinet."

    "The Kuwaitis will be making history for a number of reasons.
    This is the first election in which women are allowed to vote.
    And - much to the chagrin of Islamists, who insist that women are unfit to play any role in politics - a number of women are standing, often on platforms of radial social and economic reforms."

    "The exercise will help consolidate the idea of holding elections as a means of securing access to power - something new and still fragile in most Arab states."

    " Days before the Kuwaitis were due to go to the polls, the United Arab Emirates announced that it, too, would opt for a parliamentary system based on elections.:

    " This means that all but five of the Arab states are now committed to holding reasonably clean elections at municipal and/or national levels."

    "Some of this new interest in elections is due to the impact of Iraq on the broader Arab imagination."

    " With a mixture of admiration and terror, Arab ruling elites saw how Saddam Hussein's regime - regarded as the strongest of the Arab despotic structures in recent memory - collapsed within three weeks. "

    "The message was clear: An Arab regime without some mandate from the people is never more than a house of cards. "

    "Next, the Arab masses saw millions of Iraqis lining up to cast ballots in several local elections, a referendum and two general elections, all within a couple of years."

    "Even several radical Islamist movements have converted to elections, as opposed to armed jihad, as a means of winning power. "

    "How sincere that conversion proves to be in the long run remains an open question; still, groups that had always claimed that elections were nothing but a "plot hatched by Jews and Crusaders" to confuse Muslims have been forced to admit that the Arab masses, given the chance, take to elections like ducks to water."

    Thank you Mr Bush for doing right thing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 am  

  • zz

    I am not sure if you are reading what I have written.
    I said one of the possiblities. If somebody wants to kill oneself one can always find the means.

    You are talking about UN, did you know that one of the delgates to the UN human rights council is a delegate from Iran, the person who imprisoned and was responsible for the death of Canadian journalist and closing in one day ten (10) reformist newspapers. But you know it already don't you.
    Libya did renounce the terrorism, that is the main reason for resuming contact with this country, not because it renounced plans for nuclear weapon develpment.

    Maliki not only announced the possible time-table for withdrawal but also announced reconciliation. Reconciliantion for people who carried weapons and who did not commit war crimes or crimes against humanity as long as they condemn violence and pledge to respect the law. What do you think that means, it means that some people who were criminals and/or murderers possibly would not be punished, because murder is neither a war crime nor a crime against humanity. Well, Maliki did mention something about judgment of gangs by Ministry of Justice.

    You say Iraqis do NOT kill each other unless certain dirty elements are prompted to do so by outside forces and these constitute a minority.
    I think you are dreaming. You cite non-Iraqi articles, why don't you quote Iraqi's.
    I really did not want to quote Iraqi bloger ( who translated other Iraqi bloger( but I think that perhaps after reading this fragment you may wake up and see that all people in certain circumstances are capable of hatred and of killing their compatriots without any help from outside. Iraqis being no exception.

    I know that the government has no explanation or is ashamed to admit the politically embarrassing truth. People, Mr. Prime Minister, well know now that those death gangs are no longer 'secret death squads' as the media are fond of calling them. Those same gangs are publically proclaiming their acts and that those ‘death lists’ are being openly circulated between members of what you call militias.

    The bitter truth brothers, and I say this for the thousandth time, is that certain gangs have infiltrated the Sadrist Movement with the knowledge of some of the Movement’s leaders.

    They do all sorts of criminal acts and intimidate the Police that they have infiltrated. The disaster is that senior officers in the [Ministry of] Interior fear criminals who have criminal records in Iraqi courts prior to the Fall [of Baghdad].

    The name of the “Sayyed’s Office” [Branch of Muqtada’s offices] now terrifies the police more than the previous regime’s security forces terrified the people. On top of that, the crimes that started as political and revenge-motivated ‘liquidations’ have turned into a culture. There is a new fearsome ‘addiction’ to killing and taking pleasure in blood! There are murders just for the sake of murder; killings for reasons that the very act of contemplating is a crime against humanity. Now, there are people who cannot go to bed before shattering people’s skulls with their pistols. What a sour life between the days of car bombs and nights of criminal gangs…

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:48 am  

  • I have read some of the exchanges between Programmer Craig, Ali Kafir, and ZZ. I just felt compelled to respond to some of the errors and misconceptions. Here goes:

    First of all ZZ worked hard to earn her citizenship whereas Craig inherited his.
    Craig’s attempt to blackmail ZZ for exercising her Free Speech is an ugly practice of intimidation. Even assuming for the sake of the argument that ZZ is not a U.S. Citizen, participating in political activity is not limited to U.S. citizens only. The only 4 things non-citizens can't do in American are: the right to vote, hold a public office, serve in jury duty, and obtain top secret clearance. My advice to the programmer is: Do not waste the FBI’s valuable time and resources by filing a false claim. It will come back at you and hunt you for defamation. So far the FBI has arrested a number of individuals since 9/11 for targeting Muslim/Arab Americans like ZZ. Like the saying goes, "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen."

    You cast doubt on ZZ’s loyalty and Patriotism because she is opposed to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq- her native country. I suppose you will also attack President Lincoln for opposing and attacking President James K. Polk for sending U.S. troops to Mexico! Lincoln accused Polk for sending the troops for his own political interest. ZZ is bold and brave, so was Abe Lincoln.
    You should be ashamed of yourself for attacking her, because she read the names of fallen GI's in Iraq. I wonder if you would do the same to Ted Kopple who also read all the names a year ago. And since names of fallen GIs are public records, why would she need the consent of their families? It takes a lot of courage to have an Iraqi read the names of U.S. troops killed in Iraq. I say that as a veteran and a father of a U.S. soldier who just returned from Iraq. What a nerve you have to attack her!

    As far as Mr. Ali Kafir is concerned, I find his argument to be repulsive. Don't be so naive. U.S. troops were never invited to Iraq. It was done despite the U.N.’s objection. It was done based on lies and deceptions. It was done for oil. It was done for the interests of the state of Israel. It was done for domination and establishing permanent military bases in the Middle East. If the U.S. truly sent our troops to Iraq to free the Iraqis and promote democracy, why isn't our government doing the same thing for Palestinians? Why is our government starving the Palestinians now by cutting all aid? This includes humanitarian aid that pays for teachers, doctors, police officers, etc.? They are not terrorists; they are civil servants. The same happened when 500,000 Iraqi children died as a direct result of 13 years of U.S.-sponsored sanctions against Iraq. 300,000 or more Iraqis have been killed by the U.S. since the onset of the March, 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. Has this been in the interest of the Iraqi people?

    Further, why is Israel capable of identifing every suicide bomber within 24 hours, and yet our troops in Iraq are unable to identify even one in Iraq? Who is responsible for the safety and welfare of the Iraqi people under the occupation? It is not Iran or Syria or even the Saudis. This is the duty of the occupation power.

    As much as I despise Saddam, and I loathe saying this, but the Iraqis were better off under his regime than the current brutal foreign military occupation.

    Retired U.S. Air force Veteran

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 am  

  • Ella,
    Libya's renouncing of terrorism does not make its human rights record any cleaner.
    I fully agree with the gist of the excerpts of the articles that you posted. You're right, in a state of lawlessness, crime runs rampant. But who caused this lawlessness? Who caused the complete breakdown of civil society in Iraq? Who prompted these militias to form by disbanding the army? Have you heard of the ‘Salvador Option’ for Iraq? I suggest you read more about it. Here are some resources: from_our_own_correspondent/4209595.stm article12945.htm

    This is what is going to destroy what is left of Iraq’s civil society.



    P.S. For the links above, please add "http://". I removed them because it seems that long links are not posted correctly or in their complete form.

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 11:30 am  

  • Retired Veteran,

    Thanks for your service.

    Have you served in Iraq?

    You need to go check the progress out here and go to 2003 and see what a great job the U.S. Military has done in Iraq. Even with all the mistakes the U.S. Military has trained a brand new Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police force from scratch. The allowed Iraqis Soldiers to go on missions with them to train them and get them ready for securing the peace in Iraq. It has been a difficult, but worthwhile mission. Especially if you compare the Iraq War to wars of the past.

    You believe Iraq was better off under Saddam?

    I have to respecfully disagree with you, but you are entitled to your opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:19 pm  

  • According to the Iraq People the War has been WORTH IT.

    Have you read the recent poll of all demographics of Iraqi people by the Brookings Institute?

    98% of Shiites say even with all the mistakes and hardships and deaths the Iraq War is "Still Worth It"!!

    91% of Kurds say even with all the mistakes and hardships and deaths the Iraq War is "Still Worth It"!!!

    77% of all Iraqis say even with all the mistakes and hardships and deaths the Iraq War is "Still Worth It"!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:26 pm  

  • The Liberal faux "Veteran" said,
    "why isn't our government doing the same thing for Palestinians?"

    Bush pressured Israel to pull out of settlements and they did. Bush has stated a desire for a Palestinian State. Bush has pushed Democracy and Arab Leaders to allow elections. It is working

    500 chemical weapons were found in Iraq. Saddam declared those chemical weapons "destroyed" in 1991. They weren't. Who lied?

    Bush is promoting and pressuring other Middle Eastern Countries to start promoting Democracy and allow free elections.

    For the first time in the history of Kuwait WOMEN are going to VOTE in their first election for Prime Minister of Kuwait and a Kuwaiti Cabinet.

    WOMEN will also be members of Kuwait's Cabinet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:32 pm  

  • ZZ

    Libya's renouncing terrorism was a first step, nobody says that democracy can be done in one day.

    Al Salvadorian option is only a hearsay not a fact.
    Your links:
    From newsweek, 2005 The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq
    From BBC 2006 Would a clear exit strategy for US troops help Iraq? Not relevant to Salvadorian option, anyway that's readers opinion, mainly from outside of Iraq.
    from our own correspondent ..something on Congo (check your link)
    Counterpunch from 2005 ... a lot about quagmire and pathological approach ,nothing on facts
    Al jazira (file not found) , 2005 ........sorry, again facts mixed with fiction; facts......... masacres, fiction......... Salvador option

    Special-Forces-led assassination teams failed to matterialize. On the other hands assassinations teams lead by pasradan did act in Basra area with tacit involvement of shiite Iraqis.

    The fact is that Maliki is trying to make Iraq safer and get rid of militias, Sunni and Shiite both. Nobody knows if his initiatives will work but at least he is trying. These initiatives are also supported by US who in your opinion wants Salvador Option for Iraq.

    Half of he militias are Shiite and consist also of Muqtada As Sadr forces who was not so long ago hailed as "true Iraqi". His forces were described as "insurgents", "real Iraqis", and "Iraqis fighting ocupation".
    Another half are Sunni and kill shiite and secular sunni both.

    The complete breakdown of Iraqi civil society was caused long time ago, when Sadam was in power.
    You argue that breakdown of Iraqi society was caused by americans, however, when americans started to fight militia and terrorists many people outside iraq called everybody who have been fighting americans "insurgents" irregardless of their ideology, "insurgents" according to them included also Zarqawi's terrorists and thugs killing other Iraqis(see: dispatches of Al Jazira).

    Unfortunately, the breakdown of Iraqi society was caused mainly by Iraqis and not by anybody else. The militia are Iraqis not americans and when americans tried to fight them some people called US forces "nazis" and "criminals".

    So if US forces were fighting terrorists and militia that was bad, because they were insurgents. When US forces did not get rid of militia that is also bad because........why, yes, they are insurgents. Well, no, they were real insurgents a year ago but now they are not real insurgents.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:41 pm  

  • I just ran across your blog and find it intriguing, am still trying to catch up but I wanted to say Hi to another Hala (I spell it with 2 L's)

    By Blogger Halla, at 9:07 pm  

  • hi, i have been reading for a while but i just want to say thank you for this. well said.

    -nadia n.

    "We Iraqis cannot deny that we are part of the Arab world, I myself am definitely an Arab, somewhere we have a tree…and it goes back to nearly 1000 years.

    Islam unites its followers in faith and considers it beyond race and beyond borders. In practice this doesn’t work.

    I feel for Lebanese Christians much more than I do for Indian Muslims, and my heart goes for an Iraqi Christian much more than for a Lebanese Muslim! Don’t we all?

    Those fundamentalists groups are trying to wipe off the history of Iraq and the whole area and minimize all achievements outside the circle of Islam. They are overlooking the Arab scientist, poets and musicians and accuse them of being a bunch of heretics."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:40 pm  

  • Thank you Halla and Nadia n. I am happy you commented on my blog.

    By Blogger hala_s, at 1:48 pm  

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